You have probably heard Julia Child’s quote, “with enough butter, anything is good.” Well, we must agree with her. Butter makes every dish taste better. The question is – can we share our passion for butter with our dogs?
If you are wondering whether you can treat your pup with some toast with butter and which types of butter and fat are better for canines than others, then please read through our detailed guide.
So, Can Dogs Eat Butter?
The truth is that butter does not contain any toxic ingredients for dogs. So, technically, dogs can eat it without the risk of poisoning.
The real question, though – should canines eat butter at all?
Our answer is that because butter contains minimal essential nutrients which can benefit the dog’s wellbeing, you should keep it out of your pup’s dietary regimen altogether.
While most healthy dogs can eat a little bit of butter occasionally, you should not add it to their diet on a daily basis or in significant quantities.
The reason is that butter is almost entirely made of fat, half of which – saturated.
Fat is not good for canines. In fact, the intake of too much fatty food can lead to problems such as weight gain or painful pancreatic inflammation and pancreatitis in dogs.
Can I Give My Pup Salted Butter?
No, it would be best to refrain from giving your dog any salted butter. Not only does it have a high-fat content and many calories, but it also contains a lot of sodium. Too much salt can lead to health problems in canines, including dehydration, hypernatremia, and sodium poisoning.
Fat can cause the dog to gain weight and even become obese when consumed in large quantities. According to studies, this can lead to severe health and mobility issues and shorten your pet’s lifespan by an average of two years. Excess weight in pups can lead to diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, and even some types of cancer.
In other words, you should refrain from feeding your four-legged friend any form of salted butter – whether spread on toast or used to cook the food.
Still, don’t panic if your pet has just licked your buttered toast because a little bit of it will not poison or harm your dog.
Can I Reward My Dog With Some Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is a common ingredient in many homemade dog treat recipes. But is it suitable for dogs?
You can reward your pet with some organic, unsweetened, and unsalted peanut butter.
Always check the ingredient list on the label of the peanut butter before giving some to your pup. Look for potentially dangerous and toxic ingredients for canines, such as the artificial sweetener Xylitol. Even small quantities of the sweetener can lead to poisoning in dogs and liver failure.
Sugar and salt are two other ingredients that are not recommended for regular consumption by canines.
To be sure of all ingredients used for making the peanut butter, you can easily make it yourself. Not only will it taste better, but it is likely to be less expensive and safer for your pup than store-bought ones.
Remember that even the natural peanut butter is high in fat, so make sure to give just little amounts to your dog, and only occasionally. This will help reduce the risk of obesity and pancreatitis from having too much fat and empty calories.
Can I Give My Pup Some Almond Butter?
Like peanut butter, almond butter is not toxic for dogs unless it contains Xylitol or other potentially poisonous ingredients.
So, it is okay to treat your four-legged companion with a tiny bit of this nutty butter from time to time.
Then again, as with other kinds of butter, remember that almond butter is very high in fat. So the same risks of obesity, pancreatitis, and related illnesses are valid for it as well.
Some dogs are sensitive to eating almonds. The amygdalin contained in almonds can turn into small trace amounts of cyanide after it has been digested. This can cause digestive upsets in some pups.
Please note that not all nuts are safe for dogs. Macadamia, for example, is known to be highly toxic for canines, so make sure that the foods and treats you feed it do not contain any traces of macadamia!
Is Butter An Unhealthy Food For Dogs?
While butter may taste and smell delicious, it has few essential nutrients. Plus, it is made of almost 100% fat and packed with calories, so your dog will hardly benefit from eating it.
On the contrary, consuming too much butter can lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, pancreatitis, and even cancer in canines.
Chubbiness may look cute on some pups. But dog parents must understand that being overweight can seriously damage the dog’s health and wellbeing and significantly shorten its life.
So, we recommend that you feed your pup a complete and balanced diet suitable for its size, weight, and age. And also, keep it active so that it stays fit and at the recommended weight. This will prolong its life, reduce your vet bills, and keep you all happy at home.
To reduce the risk of your dog suffering from painful and often severe pancreatic flare-ups and pancreatitis, we recommend keeping any butter sealed away and out of your pet’s reach. Eating a whole stick of butter can lead to acute pancreatitis, which is painful and requires immediate veterinary care.
Another risk for canines comes from the wrapper of the butter. Your pup won’t hesitate to gobble up the whole butter with the wrapper if it gets the chance. Needless to say, this can be very dangerous and lead to choking and obstructions in the digestive tract of your pet.
The danger of blockage of the intestines is especially significant when the dog is small and eats a foil or waxed paper butter wrapper.
Make sure to contact your vet immediately for instructions and monitor the dog for any symptoms of obstruction such as problems defecating, a painful and bloated abdomen, vomiting, breathing problems, and others.
Such blockages often require emergency veterinary attention and surgery.
What About Allergic Or Lactose Intolerant Dogs And Butter?
Research shows that a large majority of all canines develop lactose intolerance after they are weaned off from their mother’s milk. This means dairy products such as milk and butter can cause discomfort, cramps, and other digestive upsets.
A lactose intolerant dog can suffer from abdominal cramps, gas, vomiting, and diarrhea after eating even a tiny amount of butter.
While intolerance will rarely lead to more severe health problems and harm in dogs, it can be pretty uncomfortable and turn out to be messy for dog parents too.
So, if you are unsure whether your dog is intolerant or allergic to butter or any other food, we recommend you always discuss adding new foods to its diet with your vet.
Plus, you should always start adding new food in minimal quantities so that you can watch your pet for any adverse reactions.
But, since butter has just about no benefit for your dog’s health, we recommend refraining from giving your pup any butter altogether.
Final Verdict – Can Dogs Eat Butter?
As we explained, butter is not toxic for canines, but it is not a healthy food to add to your pup’s diet.
While you can give your pet very little butter on a piece of toast, we do not recommend turning it into a regular snack for your four-legged companion.
Watch your dog for any adverse reactions after giving it some butter. Lactose intolerance and allergies to dairy are pretty common among adult canines. Dogs with lactose intolerance can experience unpleasant digestive upsets and discomforts after eating butter.
If you will be adding some peanut or other nut butter to your dog’s food or treats, always read the list of ingredients and ensure it doesn’t contain toxic ones such as Xylitol or macadamia nuts.
Also, if you are going to treat your pup with some peanut butter, try opting for the one which is natural with no added salt, sugar, and artificial ingredients.
Remember that too much butter can lead to weight gain, related health problems, and a shorter lifespan in dogs. Plus, it can cause mild to severe and painful pancreatic flare-ups in dogs.
So, for your dog’s best interest, we recommend keeping the butter for human consumption. Treat your pup with some healthier and more nutritious treats instead. Some occasional healthy and safe dog snacks include carrots, apple slices, berries, celery, and others.